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Armstrong 'consultant' given 12-month suspended sentence
An Italian doctor who treated leading cyclists, including six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, received a 12-month suspended jail sentence for sports fraud and malpractice.

Michele Ferrari, however, was acquitted of the most severe charge of distributing health-threatening doping products. His lawyer, Dario Bolognesi, said they will appeal the sentence. Lorenzo Gresti, the public prosecutor, had recommended 14 months in jail.

Armstrong said that because of the court decision he is cutting his ties with Ferrari, whom he called a "longtime friend and trusted adviser." Ferrari has worked as a conditioning consultant to Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team since 1999.

"I have always said that I have zero tolerance for anyone convicted of using or facilitating the use of performance-enhancing drugs," Armstrong said.

Armstrong was not been mentioned in the trial. The American cycling great said in an interview last year he would reevaluate their relationship if the doctor was found guilty.

Ferrari denied ever dispensing illegal substances to athletes and said he did not expect this sentence because "I'm innocent in this whole affair." Ferrari had claimed he assisted athletes at his studio with "alternative strategies such as diet and training."

Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni, one of Ferrari's leading accusers, told the Italian news agency ANSA the sentence "shows my statements were justified." Simeoni had claimed in court that the asterisks on the lists prepared by Ferrari for some cyclists indicated the use of banned drugs.





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